Google-CCI tussle: Industry divided even before the hearing starts | Business Standard News

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Handset manufacturing firm Micromax and Jaina Private Limited are learnt to have filed an appeal in NCLAT against the same CCI order, in support of Google

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Google’s appeal against the order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) would be heard by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday, after it requested for an early hearing. Even before it comes for hearing, several industry players have appealed to NCLAT, for and against the CCI order.

Handset manufacturing firms Micromax and Jaina are learnt to have filed an appeal in NCLAT against the same CCI order, in support of Google. Whereas MapmyIndia and OSLabs have filed for an impleadment application to be heard, along with the Google appeal.

According to sources, “On Tuesday, Google mentioned its appeal before the NCLAT for early listing. During the said mentioning, OSLabs Technology (India) and MapmyIndia have also intimated the NCLAT that being aggrieved by the anti-competitive actions of Google, they propose to file impleadment applications and requested for listing of the same along with Google’s appeal. NCLAT directed that Google’s appeal and impleadment applications be listed for Wednesday.”

Experts said it would be interesting to see whether NCLAT stays the penalty and asks Google to pay 10 per cent of the total amount or it stays the entire order of the antitrust watchdog.

In the case of the former, experts said that Google will still have to take a series of measures directed by CCI to set its house in order. For instance, pre-installation of Google applications (apps) on Android phones may not be allowed.

The case pertains to the recent order from CCI in October against Google for using unfair practices in the Android mobile device ecosystem.

CCI had imposed a fine of Rs 1,337.6 crore on Google. More importantly, the commission also issued a cease-and-desist order against Google, for unfair business practices, and directed it to modify its conduct within a defined timeline.

Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer, Alphabet and Google, during his recent India visit said in a media report that he is concerned by some of the aspects of the ruling as they can set back user privacy and security.

Meanwhile, Google has told the tribunal that the country’s antitrust investigators copied parts of a European ruling against the US firm for abusing the market dominance of its Android operating system, arguing the decision be quashed, legal papers show, said a Reuters report.

“There are more than 50 instances of copy-pasting”, in some cases “word-for-word”, and the watchdog erroneously dismissed the issue, Google said in its filing (stated the Reuters report).

“The commission failed to conduct an impartial, balanced, and legally sound investigation… Google’s mobile app distribution practices are pro-competitive and not unfair/exclusionary.”

In its appeal, Google alleges the CCI only found antitrust infringements related to the Google search app, Chrome browser, and YouTube, but its order “extends beyond” that.

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